Photos by Andrew Mather, Editor-in-Chief/Photographer
Story by Devon Seaman, Live Music Reporter
Kauffman Stadium erupted with cheers and classic piano riffs Friday night when the legendary Piano Man himself kicked off his concert. With this being the first concert The K has seen in 39 years, Billy Joel lit up the crowd and got everyone dancing in the aisles. From babies to baby boomers, fans of all ages came out to enjoy the show.
After a fashionably late start, fans found themselves cheering on Joel’s big hits such as “Big Shot”, “New York State of Mind” and “River of Dreams”. Joel also paid a heartwarming tribute to the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, with a rousing performance of “Respect”, sung by vocalist/saxophone player/percussionist, Crystal Taliefero.
Joel pulled out his charming wit (and flyswatter), making the crowd laugh with his stories and ultimately won the female crowd over with the ever-popular “She’s Always a Woman”. The cameras panned to the audience, showing women embracing each other and swaying dreamily while belting out his timeless lyrics.
One of the unexpected highlights of the evening was when Joel invited his guitarist, Michael DelGuidice, to take center stage for a beautiful rendition of Andrea Bocelli’s “Nessun Dorma.”
Mr. Joel brought down the house with the crown-jewel of his catalog. “Piano Man” was accompanied by the entire stadium of die-hard fans, singing at the top of their lungs while dancing and cheers-ing each other. And when the crowd thought the show couldn’t get any better, Joel ignited the venue with a fiery encore of “We Didn’t Start the Fire!!!”. I’m sure I can speak for all of the fans last night when I say thank you, Billy, for bringing rock and roll back to Kansas City.
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All photos © Andrew Mather